The Great TH Sewing Bee – Transformation Challenge 2024

The annual ‘Great TH Sewing Bee’ reached new heights this year as eight students from Lower 4 took on the challenge of transforming two men’s shirts into stylish ladies’ fashion items. Participants demonstrated exceptional creativity and technical skill; the competition aimed to promote sustainable fashion practices by encouraging students to upcycle old discarded clothing into new, fashionable pieces.

Each participant was given a week to plan their creations and some even raided their dads’ wardrobes in order to practise at home before the competition. Judges evaluated the entries based on originality, craftsmanship, overall aesthetic appeal and whether the designs were true transformations.

Notable Entries

The winning design by Efthalia was an innovative two-piece ensemble made from navy blue and check shirts. Her design demonstrated the largest transformation from the original garment which included a crop top with darts to create a more fitted outline, which provided a flattering silhouette as well as a navy blue skirt with contrasting insert to match the top.

Second place went to Jemima who taught herself how to do shirring, to gather the fabric, before the competition. She stitched elastic very carefully to gather the waistband of the skirt which added a playful touch, making it a versatile item with a near perfect wearable finish, she was even able to sew hand embroidery on the patch pocket to add an element of detail.

Oonagh, who crafted a sophisticated blouse and skirt combination, achieved a Highly-Commended award.  The judges were particularly impressed by her independence and determination, she had a plan and the fast pace of the competition did not fluster her. Oonagh’s blouse featured darts to give it shape. The matching skirt had a gathered, elasticated waistband with a bow, adding a feminine flair to the ensemble.

Well done to all students that participated, Nadine, Winnie, Abbie, Sumeyye, Isobel and the prize winners Efthalia, Jemima and Oonagh – their dedication and determination as well as their creativity were put to the test and they seamlessly rose to the challenge.


Judges’ Remarks

Guest Judge and local bespoke clothing designer, Liz King, praised the students’ ingenuity and creativity. Mrs Adams said “The level of skill and creativity displayed by the students is truly remarkable. Transforming men’s shirts into fashionable ladies’ wear is no easy feat, but they have risen to the challenge magnificently. This competition not only highlights the students’ talent but also emphasises the importance of sustainable fashion. It’s inspiring to see how these young designers can create beautiful, high-quality clothing from materials that might otherwise go to waste.”

The success of this year’s competition has already sparked excitement for future events. The Great Talbot Heath Sewing Bee Transformation Challenge continues to be a highlight of the school year, fostering creativity, technical skill, and a commitment to sustainable fashion among its students.

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